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Client Representative Case Study Method: Program Evaluation of Three Regional Offices of a Nonprofit Organization

By: Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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I was contracted as a program evaluator in 2005/2006 to perform a process and narrative outcome evaluation of a nonprofit health organization's three regional offices in a Canadian province. The program representative informed me that even though there was scant academic and empirical literature about the client representative case study method, the organization wanted me to conduct the evaluation using this method. I read all the available literature on this method and combined that information with my program evaluation training to design an evaluation outline. This article examines the benefits and limitations of using the client representative case study method in program evaluation research. Specifically, attention is given to the type of rich illustrative data this method can provide, the rigor of the research, and the potential for generalizability of the findings. Limitations of this method are discussed, such as the risk of selection bias, the possibility of collecting historic data that has limited utility for the current operation of the organization, and the possibility of taking too narrow an approach so as to miss examining some lesser used areas of a program.

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